Saturday, December 18, 2010

Need to upgrade my skills

Nicholas Chan has set up his own company. He worked with an IT company whose office is just above my shop. Met him yesterday and he told me about his newly set up company. Now he provides various IT services like IT systems integrator, IT Projects Management, Automation and Network Security, and also maintenance and services. He also sells special computers for factory usage which is generally more durable compared to normal computers.

My knowledge on networking is limited though enough for day to day operation of the shop. I'm glad that Nicholas shared a bit of his knowledge during our conversation. I wonder whether he has gone to Chicago CCNA or San Diego CCNA where excellent courses on networking were offered. He also shared about some of the internet cafes that he went in another city where the services provided is specifically catered to high end users. He said that in those places the owner have to hire an expert in server and networking just to look after and maintain the computer systems. These expert must have gone through Virginia Cisco Course or Virginia MCITP or similar courses before they can apply for such position.

Would I want to go for such courses? Well, I definitely want to, not just because of the need but because of my interest in knowing more about it. But then, would I have the time to study?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Need to be tough with the tenants

They can pay if they want to. But they chose not to pay the rental, TNB and water bills. And that makes me angry. Once bitten twice angry. The previous tenants left me with more than RM2.5K for TNB. Now this present tenants want to do the same. NO WAY, NO WAY would I let them do that to me.

SMSed them to pay TNB bills last week. Amount outstanding is RM555 but until today they didn't even bother to pay. Tried to make arrangement with TNB at Banda Kaba but useless also. Lots of bureaucracy, must send this notice that notice... bullshit lah.
They promised to cut off the electricity by Monday but satu habuk pun tarak nampak. No action, talk cock only.

Went to the apartment with my padlock cutter and bought a new padlock. Didn't manage to cut open the padlock but managed to damage it so that the key is useless. Asked the management office to lock the water meter and take out the electricity fuse. Then went back home for lunch.

Guess what. The tenant called me and said that they are trapped inside the apartment. Hahaha (sorry lah...I sound so evil in this post). Told him that I will cut open the padlock (still not sure whether I have the strength to do it or not)provided they pay me the rental and TNB bill amount. So went to the apartment again.

Talked to one of the tenants at the management office. Almost quarrel there. Anyway he said that he will pay the rental provided I open the door. So I went and take the cutter and passed it to him to cut the lock. After a few grueling tries he managed to cut it. Praise God for that. I was thinking that I might have to cut the padlock holder if everything else fails. To cut the story short, he went in and paid me the rental. But they are still without water and electricity. They told me that they will only have the money on the middle of this month. Well, good and fine. Stay without water and light then. So I went back.

Lo and behold. In that evening, I received an SMS from the tenants saying that they have paid the electricity and water bills. HAHAHAHAHA...these %$#^%$^ have the money but they just don't want to pay. So must force them to pay... the hard way.

BTW, I really don't like to be the mean person but by doing so, I managed to save myself from coming out with probably RM1K or more for unpaid bills.

Time to upgrade

Bought another photocopier for the shop. The old one is giving lots of problem lately. The paper would always crumple and/or get stuck. Every time the paper got crumple, it is a waste of money (paper, toner and electricity), time, energy and patience. It also gives a bit impression to the customers. They might not even want to come back to the shop and this is something that I want to avoid. So it is time to get a new photocopier.

The good thing is that my supplier allows me to pay by installments. That enables me to pay him and get the machine. If he wants me to pay the whole sum at one time, then I'm not sure when I will have enough money to do so. Maybe, I would have to get a loan from the bank. But I hate to take loans. Pray that this new machine will last long and give a good return for the business.

World's biggest

Do you know that China is the world's biggest bullion miner. Yes, China. And who is the biggest gold consumer. Well, it's India for now. But China would most probably take over that title from India very soon. I know the Chinese are fond of gold and most of them would buy gold coins as gifts to their loved ones. Looking at the trend of economic uncertainties, it looks like this precious metal would be a safe bet for investors.

Oh ya, even though China is the world's biggest bullion miner, she still has to import gold from other countries. Yes, China's gold mines are not enough to meet its own internal domestic demands. And the good news is that the increase in gold import by China will help to lift prices in the coming months. The Dragon country has voracious appetite for gold.

Quiet

Because my two girls are not at home. No more fighting, shouting, running around, complaining, whining. Well, too quiet also is not good. Miss them. Anyway, I should enjoy the peace and quiet while I can. They will be back this evening and the house will be noisy again.

So far, Ezra has compensated abit with his screaming when he plays with his brother Barnabas. And Barnabas keeps on talking and talking when he is near me. He's the talkative type, the total opposite of his father. But he takes good care of his brother too. Willing to play with his brother even though they are about 3 years apart. It's a wonderful feeling to see them play together, shouting, screaming, laughing and getting excited in their game.

Cameron Highland holiday

Not me but my two daughters, Annabelle and Clarissa. They followed their auntie and grandma. Well, since they are big enough to enjoy a holiday, we just let them go without us. Anyway, we can't go because of work and work and not convenient. *Sigh. Sounds so pathetic.

I do hope they are enjoying themselves there. Yes, I do miss them.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Expected to go on increasing

Read the paper TheStar today and found an article by By YVONNE TAN on the price of gold. The article mentioned that the price of gold is expected to scale higher at least over the next one year. Well, if that is true, it is indeed good news to me. Yes, I do invest in gold although I did not buy gold coins. I invest in gold saving accounts because I have problem keeping actual gold coins in a safe place.

The downside is that I don't have extra money to invest further. With the roof renovation and buying of another photocopier for my business, all my extra money has disappeared. Would I encourage you to buy gold? Yes, I definitely would do so. I'm not a high risk taker like those who play the stock market daily. I like to play safe and at the moment, investing in gold is a safe bet.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Holiday vacation

One of my daughters grumbled on the lack of activities this holiday. Her cousins are not back and we have yet to plan for a vacation. A bit busy with the business. Furthermore her mom is due in early January so that is also another deterrence factor. Yes, we did thought of going to Cameron Highlands, Genting Highland, and even Port Dickson for our vacation. So far, there is no decision made.

My wife has gone through the net looking at other hotels in Genting and Port Dicksion. We normally search for the hotels that offer cheap rates as school holiday rates can be very expensive in most hotels. Our idea of staying in the hotels is only for night sleep so there is no need to get a very expensive room.

Anyway, we have listed down two beach hotels should the beach be our destination. It is either Bayu Beach hotel or Tiara Beach Resort. However, knowing my wife, she would prefer to go to the cool places like Genting and Cameron.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear

You are my best friend, my soul companion. You complete me. Indeed, I'm blessed by God to have you as my wife. I can say with all my heart that you are the greatest wife in the whole world for me. God knows that you are the one for me and I fully trust God on that.

There are times when I wish that I could give more to you. Sometimes I wish that I am financially rich so that I can provide for you and that you would not have to bear the comments of others on money matter. Having said that, I too am glad that you have endured such comments and have came out a better person. Instead of a nagging wife who is not satisfied financially, you have become a constant support to me and the children. I thanked God that I'm spared from having an unsatisfied and nagging wife.

You have gone far in your character building and I'm proud of it. Yes, we have to go further in this area but I rejoice that in doing so we will find many treasures in life. And I'm looking forward to our journey together in our pursuit to bring up godly children. There will be ups and downs in that journey but I know we will be enabled by God to achieve what He has in mind for us. Again, I praised God that He has given you as my partner as we complete this Amazing Race together.

Loving you always.

Hubby

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Maids in Saudi

I have a maid from Indonesia. Most of the Indonesian maids prefer to work in nearby countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei because of the similar language. It is much easier for them to understand the instructions from their employer and as such can avoid making unnecessary mistake because of language misunderstanding.

The maids have a choice to work in other countries like the Middle East countries. The pay is much higher but the maids must understand English or Arabic. The good thing about working in Middle East is the maid's salary can be in kind. The maid can ask the employer to buy gold bullion for her instead of paying cash to her. I think this is a better deal for the maid if the maid does not need to use her salary as gold price keeps on increasing. If the maid has to send back money to her family, then this salary deal is not appropriate as it is risky to send back the gold bullion to their own country.

I was further told that sometimes the maids in Saudi would never seen her employers face throughout her employment period as the women would wear burqa and the maid would not be allowed to see the male employer.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tenants leaving

Received a call from BBU Management office admin. She told me that my tenant is leaving by end of December this year. They just moved in about two months ago and now they are leaving. It seems that the courses that they wanted is not provided for by the university here. They would be moving up to Cyberjaya next year. Looks like it would be another month of looking for tenants.

Cost of renovations

The roofs on our kitchen halls need to be changed. Yes, we have two kitchen halls, one is indoor kitchen and the other one is somewhat outdoor kitchen. The roofs are of zinc material and over time, it rusted and there are many holes on it. It is time to change it.

The 1st contractor quoted RM10K for the work. Then the 2nd contractor quoted RM5.4K or RM7K with some extension. Then another contractor quoted RM14.8K if we use steel frame. So we decided to go for the 2nd contractor. We call him but was informed that he has calculated the cost on the low side. He will have to recalculate the cost to the repair.

He came and and after another recalculation, quoted us RM6.5K and RM8.8K with some extension. That is an increase of RM1.1K and RM1.8K from the previous quotation. *Sigh.

I was hoping that we can settle at the RM7K repairs which includes some extension but it looks like we have to pay for the same amount without any extension.
Thank God that the other siblings are willing to help out.

Gold wins again

My banker friend drop by at the house the other day. As usual, she would promote the various plans the bank has. And in this instance, she was promoting a fixed deposit plan for our children. The time duration for the FD to mature is 4 years and we are not supposed to take out the money within that period. The interest rate is only 3.5% per year.

Well, the plan is attractive because our children do have some money inside their saving accounts. Then, we calculated it against the gold savings plan. We estimated that the gold price will continue it upward trend for the next four years and the increase is definitely more than 3.5%. Well, it might go up as high as 60% for the next 4 years. Without much of a fight, the gold wins. So the next day we went to UOB to buy gold. Looks like the children will have higher returns for their money.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rules of This Household

Got these rules from Cybersalt. Interesting....might even put up these rules when the children are older.

Here goes the rules: -

1. If you are not here for dinner, too bad. This is not a fast-food place where the cook is on duty at all times. The cook works full time and does not need a second job.

2. If you make a mess, clean it up. The dishwasher is open 24 hours a day to service you as are the vacuum, broom, and sponge. Please help them to help you by using them. If you need assistance, ask the cook -- she will be happy to give you training on any of the equipment.

3. The taxi service for this household is not on call 24 hours. You must make reservations at least 12 hours in advance. You have two good legs, skateboards, and bikes that are somewhat operational; one of you has a vehicle that works. Use them. By the way, skateboards are to be used on the outside of this house and are never to be used in the living room just because the landing is softer when you fall.

4. We are not a bank and you have no collateral to offer us. Face it: We own everything you have and I have receipts to prove it, so don't ask us for loans. Get jobs! We have them. Try it and you might like it (not so much the work as the money).

5. Curfew is negotiable, but try not to be late too often because it could go either way.

6. Tell us where you are going. GOOD GRIEF! I am way older than you, and I still tell my mother where I am going when I am at her house. Leave us a note or try to form words describing where you are going while we are in the room with you. Honestly, we don't bite unless provoked.

7. You know how to use a phone. Most of you even have cell phones. We like to hear your voice if you are going to be late. You can use a phone to find out what's for dinner, to let us know you made it to wherever all right, or just to let us hear your beautiful voice.

8. No food in your room, the living room, the bathroom, or anywhere in the house other than the kitchen or dining area EVER! How many times do I have to say this?

9. You do not contribute financially in any way, shape, or form to this household, so try to pull your weight in other ways: Clean something, put something away, surprise us by doing it before we ask. Otherwise, you may find yourself financially supporting yourself on the OUTSIDE of this house.

Changing tyres

As I entered my old junk to go to work, I glanced at the car tire and to my surprise, I saw that the tire has worn out. In fact both front tires are in the same condition and are badly in need for change. I knew that I need to change the tires immediately for safety reason.

As usual, I went to my favorite tire workshop. They provide fast, friendly and cheap service, which are some of my expectations for a good workshop. They recommended a few second-hand tires but it was quite old tires, about 3 years old. Told them to find a newer tires and they managed to find a year old tires.

While they are busy changing the tires, I noticed that they also sell Tire Chains. I will definitely get one of the tire chains if I ever decided to go up the mountains range during winter. At the meantime, the old junk would only be used for me to go to work.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roof repairs

A month ago I informed my siblings of the roof conditions of the house. I told them that there are many holes on the zinc roofs and that the rain water will leaked through everytime it rains. And it needed repairs urgently. However, the emails does not generated any response from the recipients.

Everytime it rains, the water will sip through the holes and flows down to the wall and to the furniture. As you know wood materials should not be wet but there is nothing much that can be done in this situation. Bit by bit the rain water damage wood furniture austin. In addition to that, the rain water damage to walls austin can also be seen after a few days. I did not have any carpet on the floor or I might have to find some professional carpet cleaning tips.

A week ago, a few of my siblings came back to visit Mother. Only when they have seen the condition of the roofs that they see the urgent need to repair it. Only then they are willing to contribute to the repairs of the roof. Even then, the response from the others are slow in coming. What can I say? The repairs will still need to be done before more damage is done to the house.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

HEARTS THAT ARE FULLY COMMITTED TO GOD

GBM Gateway Christian Fellowship, 18-10-2009 by David Bong

Key Scripture: 2 Chronicles 16:9,
“For the eyes of God range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”

Intro:
King Asa early reign. War with the Cushites and Libyans.

1. God Is Searching/Looking. – “The eyes of God range throughout the earth”

God is looking to see us do the right thing. It is those things that are holy and pleasing that He wants to see.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, anything that is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things” – Phil 4:8.

Eg. 1 : - God takes notice of Job.
In Job 1:8, “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
God is not looking for your fault but is looking for people who want to be blameless, upright, who revered God and shuns evil.

Eg. 2 : - 1 Kings 19:18, God told Elijah, “Yet I reserve 7000 in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.”

2. God Wants to Strengthen Us.-“ to strengthen those”

God knows our weakness. He knows that we need to be strengthened.
Each and every one of our abilities are given by God. – Exodus 31:1-6
It is a gift to us so that we can do the good things He wants us to do.- Heb 13:20-21

Eg. 1: - Joshua leading the people into the Promised Land – Joshua 1:6,7,9… “be strong and courageous”. Joshua has no “supernatural” credentials.

How does God strengthen us? Generally, God strengthens His people in a few ways:
i) By His Word
ii) By word of testimonies
iii) By word of encouragement
iv) By upholding the cause of the people
v) By being the Deliverer and place of refuge.

We should live by bread alone but by every word of God.
In Psalm 19:7a, the psalmist says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul”.
And in v 8a, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart”.
When God strengthens King David, none of the nations around him can defeat King David.

3. Hearts That Are Fully Committed To Him.

King Asa’s heart is not fully committed to God.
Are we fully committed to God?
What does it mean to be fully committed to God?
i) A life that centers on God and His Word.
ii) A heart that trust God notwithstanding the circumstances around him.
*1988 Winter Olympics featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing.
iii) Making a choice to do what God wants to do though it hurts badly.
*David Livingstone wrote back, "If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

Commitment will only emerge when there is hardship and choices to be made.
Marriage requires commitment.

God becomes our Master, Lord and God and we are His servants. In heaven, we want to hear from God, our Master tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

We can build commitment to God by developing Godly disciplines/habits.
- Read your Bible daily- a chapter or 5 chapters
- Pray at certain time
- Sing Christian songs
- Read Christian books
- Greet God in the morning.

It all depends on us. It is when we are committed fully to Him, God takes notice of us and strengthens us. In James 4:8, Paul said, “Draw near to God, and then God will draw near to you.” The choice is ours.

Conclusion.
The Vine and the Branches. If we the branches remains committed to Jesus the Vine, then He will strengthen us and we will produce fruits for Him. If our hearts are fully committed to Jesus, he will not let us whither but strengthens us and in due time we will produce fruits for Him.

Joseph- Refined By Hardship.

GBM Gateway – 28 Feb 2010 – by David Bong

Scripture Passage: Genesis 37 – 50

Intro: Gen 50:19, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good”.

1. The Forming of Godly character – a servant heart.
Joseph was a favorite to his father Jacob. And he because of that he develops this boastful pride in his early life. He has this bossy type of character. He likes to show off. And because he is Jacob’s favorite, Jacob would give in to Joseph’s demands. That is why we read in Gen 37: 11 that Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. They were angry at him, hated him and could not speak any kind words to him.

God has a plan for Jacob and family. And God wants to use Joseph in His Mighty plan. But at the age of 17 and with his boastful character, Joseph is not yet suitable for the job. God has to refine Joseph to be the suitable vessel/instrument for His plan.

I believe that God has already set a plan for Joseph to be a ruler. But to be a ruler, Joseph must be able to serve. Jesus said it in Matthew 20: 20-28 that to be a ruler, one must serve. So we see here that God’s plan for Joseph is to be a ruler. But a ruler in God’s definition is one that serves, not one that is proud and boastful and orders people around. God has to refine Joseph to be a ruler. Unfortunately for people who are boastful, God will allow them to go through humbling experiences. Joseph was given a dream, one that the people would understand its meaning. Joseph was destined to be a ruler, and rule over his brothers, and even his parents have to bow down to him.

God allows Joseph to be sold as slave of Potiphar to teach Joseph to be humble. It is also an opportunity for Joseph to learn to be a true leader that is by serving others. It is there in Potiphar’s house that Joseph learned to serve others. At first, it might have been difficult for Joseph to serve others. Imagine a spoiled brat trying to serve others. But Joseph did learn and when he put his best in serving, God was with him and in due time he was promoted. But Potiphar’s house is only the first purifying stage for Joseph.

Serving in Potiphar’s house is not so difficult. Good food, beautiful house, nice bedroom, and everything is taken care of. One thing about God’s trial is that He knows our character and He moulds us bit by bit. He knows how much hardship we can take for any given time. Although most of the time we feel that it is too much but God knows better. God knows that Joseph’s character is not perfectly moulded and the hardship in Potiphar’s house is not enough to fully refined Joseph. Joseph needs to be tested and refined in a tougher and harsher condition.

What better place to further refine Joseph’s character than to let him be in prison. It is one of the worst places to be and that is what needed to test/refine Joseph. If Joseph can succeed in serving in a prison, then he is ready for God’s plan. Indeed we read that Joseph was tested in prison for more than 2 years before God says that Joseph is ready to serve. It took about 12 years for God to transform Joseph to be ready to serve and be appointed a ruler.
* What situation are you in right now? Is it a difficult situation? Could it that God is preparing you for greater things in your life. Could it be that God want to build a better you and the only way to get you to cooperate is by letting you be in hardship. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

We may feel inadequate, unworthy, unprepared, but God will never call someone to do something that he won’t enable them to accomplish. He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those He calls.


2. God’s Timing, Not our Timing
Joseph was given the “dream” that he would become a ruler of his brother and his parents when he was still a young man. Knowing that he is boastful and arrogant in his character, it is most likely that he tried to be rash and act as though he is the ruler, telling the brothers and parents to do everything he wants. I believe that Joseph might have tried to do it. He may have boasted about it to his friends. He may have wondered when that “dream” would come to pass. Maybe Joseph have been imagining on how the dreams would come to fulfillment. He may even plan on how to make the dream come to fulfillment faster. I would not be surprised if Joseph had followed in his great grandmother Sarah thinking. Abraham was promised by God that he would have children through Sarah. Sarah believed it but she could not wait. So, in her rashness to make the prophecy come to pass, she offered her servant girl Hagar to Abraham. But that is not God’s plan, not His timing.

Joseph might felt his biggest surprise/disillusionment while he is in the dry cistern. He thought he would rule over his brothers but it is him who was ruled over by his brothers. Caught and thrown down in the cistern, left to die. There in the cistern Joseph experience the death of his vision/dream. In his desperation, Joseph might have cried out to God to save him. Joseph might have bargained with God. That, we are not told.

Then God provides salvation to him. Instead of being left to die in the cistern, he was sold as a slave to a caravan trader. Later, in Egypt, Joseph was again sold as a slave to one of Pharaoh’s official, a captain of the guard name Potiphar. Joseph is now a slave. A prophesied ruler has now become a slave. Again, here we may imagine how Joseph may have felt. When Joseph was with his father Jacob, Joseph is the master of all the slaves, the menservants and maidservants. Instead of ordering others to do the work, he now has to do the work.

By now, we can see the changes in Joseph’s attitude. He became diligent and with God’s favor upon him, he was successful in all the tasks given to him. Soon he was promoted to take charge of Potiphar’s household. He is now the second in command. It seems that maybe, maybe the dream is alive again. Joseph is now in command again.
Now that Joseph is in command again, he might have thought that the dream is now fulfilled. He may have reason out that the dream is about him being a ruler or being in command, which he is now. Sometimes we are like Joseph, having a small plan and we tell God, “Ok Lord. Thank you for your plan that is fulfilled in my life.” Yet that is not God’s final plan for us. Many times we can’t grasp or imagine how great/big God’s plan is for us. Joseph may have thought that God’s timing have come and he may be contented with what he is now, being in command of Potiphar’s household. The problem is though he is in command, he is still a slave.

I believe that Joseph may have felt complacent and resigned to the fact that where he is now is the best he can get in his life, being in command of Potiphar’s household. He might even be happy with where he is now. Potiphar, being captain of the guard, one of Pharaoh’s official, is rich and have tremendous power, the elite in Egyptian society. It is said that a person like Potiphar lives in a big mansion, maybe 3 storey’s mansion. He uses gold utensils and bowls in his daily routine. There are big beautiful vases decorated in his mansion. He sleeps in big beautifully decorated rooms with nice pillows, mattress and comforters.
Joseph might have compared his life as a shepherd, a nomad when he was with his father Jacob, being in command of Potiphar’s household seems to be better. No need to be under the hot sun or shiver in the cold nights, sleeping on hard rocks with insects or snakes all around, smelling like sheep or goats.

*Many times it is when we are contented with what we are that God allows trials/hardships to happen. It is not that God is bad/evil but it is that we have not reached our fullest potential. God want us to go higher in faith. That is what happens to Joseph. He was accuses of doing something bad when he did not do it. And Joseph finds himself in prison, being treated like a criminal though he is not. Life is so unfair, really unfair. How would you react if you are in Joseph’s situation now? Would you be disappointed, frustrated, and angry with God? Would you be questioning God’s wisdom and do you want to curse God (like Job’s wife).

Now Joseph’s dream suffers another blow, a second death of a vision. However, God spared Joseph’s life. Potiphar has the right to kill Joseph there and then. Remember that Joseph is a slave. And a slave does not have any right. So it is quite surprising that we read that instead of killing Joseph straight away, Potiphar put Joseph into the prison. I would assume that Potiphar knew that Joseph is innocent. Potiphar may have investigated the matter with his other menservants and maidservants and found out the truth. And probably Potiphar also know his wife’s character.

We can say that Joseph is in deeper “shit” than before. Previously he is only a slave. Now he is not only a slave but also a prisoner. God was with him and even in prison he was promoted. He was to be in charge of all the prisoners.

Joseph’s dream is to be a ruler. Instead of things turning out good, things went from bad to worse. In a way, Joseph is being demoted from being in charge of a big rich household to being in charge of dirty, grim, depressing prison. It is like you are being transferred from the HQ in KL to some remote places in Sarawak/Sabah. And from living in a beautiful luxurious condominium/bungalow to living in a prison.

It is only when the time is right, when God has placed everything in position that God made the fulfillment of the dream/vision. We read the story of how Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and hew was appointed to be the second in command to Pharaoh. I don’t think Joseph would have imagined that he would be second most powerful man on earth at that time. When he received the dream, he would at the most imagined that he be the head/ruler of his family. But God’s plan is much bigger. God planned that Joseph be the second most powerful man on earth.

What is the vision/dream that you received? Are you still running with the vision? Have is suffered death? Always remember that it is God’s timing, not our timing.


3. Having The Fear of the Lord Always.

Joseph realized that it is always wise to fear/revere the Lord. He has internalized this wisdom and it is shown in his response to temptation. In Gen 39:9b, we read, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” We all are accountable to God first for all our action.

One near death experience can bring one near to God. It is likely that Joseph came to realize that life and death is in God’s hand. He may have realized that is it best to follow God’s ways than to depend on his own abilities. Joseph’s character was changed from one that is proud and boastful to one who give all the credit to God. He is constantly aware of God’s hand working in his life.

Day by day Joseph’s heart becomes committed to God. He may have realized that it is all because of God’s favour that he was successful in all his tasks. This realization made his commitment to God stronger day by day. We have heard the principle that God strengthened those whose hearts are fully committed to God. This commitment to God was made manifested when temptation comes. He knows that he would be sinning against God if he sleeps with his master’s wife. I wonder how many of us guys would already have that kind of commitment. Not many I guess, for even people like Samson, King David and Solomon failed in this area.

When given the opportunity to take revenge on his brothers, he is able to see through God’s eyes. Instead of focusing from his own point of view, he focused on God’s view. And because he focused on God’s view, he is able to see that what his brothers did to him is also part of God’s plan. What would your response be to those who have hurt you? Are you still angry with them, never forgiven them even though its been years since it happened? Are you still blaming God for the sickness, the hardship, the misfortune that you experienced? Or will you try like Joseph to be so in tune with God that he is able to see God’s hand working in his life, even through the difficult part of his life. (being thrown into the cistern by his own brothers, being sold as a slave to the Ishmaelite traders, being sold to Potiphar, being unfairly and unjustly accused of having an affair with his master’s wife, being thrown into prison, helping others but was forgotten and stayed in prison for more than 2 years.

Being in tune with God made a lot of difference. Having the fear of the Lord made a lot of difference. Joseph was able to say that all the hardship is necessary so that he can be God’s instrument, God’s vessel to fulfill God’s plan, not only for Joseph’s life but also for the family members of Jacob. It is also to fulfill God’s prophecy given to Abraham. Being in tune with God frees us from being enslaved with hatred, vengeance, anger, bitterness, jealousy, lust, covetousness and many other evil thoughts. Instead being in tune with God will repulse all these evil thoughts away from our mind. But being in tune with God does not mean all the troubles will go away. It does not repulse hardship, trials or troubles.

Closing.

I truly believe that God has a GREAT Plan for each one of us. And I also believe that God is interested in building man and woman of Godly character. When God made us in His image, He wants us to display His character. That is why the Bible says that God is in the process of conforming us to be more like Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 3:18). May we too be refined like Joseph through hardships and will come out as pure gold, an acceptable offering to God.

Panggilan Allah – 1 Samuel 3

GBM Gateway – 24 Okt 2010 – David Bong

Intro:
Allah senantiasa bekerja. W/pun kita tidak dapat merasainya atau melihatnya, yang pasti Allah senantiasa bekerja. Allah mempunyai rencana yang besar. Untuk membawa setiap bangsa ke syurga supaya mereka dapat menikmati kebaikan dan glori Allah. Bila keadaan kelihatan tidak ada harapan lagi, Allah secara diam-diam memanggil orang-orang tertentu untuk melaksanakan rencananya.

Apabila Allah memanggil kita, apakah reaksi kita? Mari kita lihat kisah Samuel apabila Allah memanggil dia.

Tempat: Shiloh dimana Tabut Tuhan berada. 3 kali setahun umat Israel akan berkumpul untuk merayakan perayaan-perayaan agama mereka. (1. Paskah & Roti Tak Beragi; 2. Pentekosta, 3. Pondok Daun)

Politik: Umat Israel sering kali diserang dan ditindas oleh orang Palestin. Umat Israel tidak mempunyai raja tetapi mereka bergantung kepada ketua-ketua suku kaum mereka dan juga Imam Besar pada masa itu – Eli.

Rohani: Gelap; Semua orang melakukan apa yg difikirkan betul; penyembahan berhala Baal dan Asithoret; efod yg dibuat oleh Gideon juga disembah oleh umat Israel; yang menyedihkan lagi ialah pada masa itu firman Tuhan jarang.

Samuel = Heard of God (didengar Tuhan atau Tuhan telah mendengar); Shama = mendengar; El = Tuhan.

Samuel – anak kepada Elkanah dan Hannah. Elkanah merupakan keturunan Levi dari bani Kehat (Kohatites). Umur Samuel pada waktu Allah memanggil dia mungkin 13 tahun. Samuel merupakan seorang pembantu kepada Eli, Iman
Tugas Samuel: 1. Menjaga dan membersihkan alat perabot di tabut Allah. 2: menyalakan dan mematikan lampu rumah Allah, 3: membuka pintu rumah Tuhan di waktu pagi. 4. Mengikut arahan para imam.

Pada satu malam ketika Samuel sedang tidur, dia terdengar satu suara memanggil namanya, “Samuel, Samuel”. Sebanyak 3 kali Allah memanggil Samuel. Baca 1 Samuel 3: 3-10

Apa yang boleh kita pelajari dari kisah Samuel ini?

1. Tuhan memanggil kita secara peribadi – Tuhan memanggil nama kita.
c/f Keluaran 3:4 “Musa, Musa”
- Tuhan tahu kita secara peribadi. Tuhan yang mencipta kita didalam rahim ibu kita. Tuhan yang tahu berapa banyak rambut di kepala kita. Sebelum sepatah perkataan keluar dari mulut kita, Tuhan sudah tahu mengenainya.


2. Tuhan memanggil kita mengikut waktu Tuhan.
- Mungkin kita seperti Samuel: -
- masih muda lagi – 13 tahun sahaja
- belum mengenal Tuhan
- firman Tuhan belum dinyatakan kepadanya
- sewaktu kita masih enak tidur.
- kita tidak mempunyai kelayakan yang sepatutnya – hanya pembantu rumah

3. Panggilan Tuhan selalunya berkenaan rencana Tuhan
- apa yang Tuhan akan lakukan terhadap anak-anak imam Eli
- sama seperti penciptaan tubuh badan manusia, Tuhan mempunyai tugas dan tempat yang khusus bagi kita. Mungkin sebagai telinga, mata, hidung, mulut, tangan, kaki dsbnya.

Bagaimana Respons Kita terhadap Panggilan Tuhan.

1. Tidak Tahu Tuhan Sedang Memanggil Kita
- sama seperti Samuel, kita tidak tahu yang Tuhan yang memanggil kita.
- kita menjawab kepada orang lain

2. Perlu Mendapatkan Nasihat/Bimbingan daripada orang lain.
- Eli memberi nasihat kepada Samuel apa yang harus Samuel lakukan
- ada diantara kita telah mendengar panggilan Tuhan tapi kita tidak berbuat apa-apa sebab kita tidak tahu apa yang perlu kita lakukan.

3. Bersedia Untuk Menerima Panggilan Tuhan
1) Membenarkan Allah bercakap – “Berbicaralah…”
- sering dikacau/diganggu oleh perkara-perkara lain
- dalam seminit, pemikiran kita diganggu sebanyak 6 kali.

2). Mendengar dengan aktif – “Hamba-Mu ini mendengar”
- dengan niat akan melakukan apa yang disuruh.
- kadang-kala kita tidak mahu mendengar Panggilan Tuhan sebab kita harus kembali ke jalan Tuhan. Kita tidak mahu meninggalkan perbuatan-perbuatan duniawi yang memuaskan nafsu kita.

God’s Way of Achieving Prosperity and Success.

Intro:
- All of us want to be prosperous and successful. There’s an inherent desire in us to be prosperous and successful.
- We have heard of so many ways of the world to find success. Unfortunately, most of the common way to achieve success is against the Biblical principle..e.g. *the means justify the end; cheating; bribing, stepping on others, taking advantage on others to get what you want; be scrupulous in your dealings; don’t give face to others; grab as much as you can; bring down your competitor; etc etc.
- It has come to a stage that the word “success” is commonly associated with worldly desire that we are afraid of desiring success. What does the Bible has to say of success?
- Very often the desire for success drives us to make bad decisions. Eg. Taking drugs by athletes.
*I’ve tried to study God’s Words on this issue. And I would like to share with you what I’ve learned about this issue so far. What I will be sharing to us is just a guideline/a framework of God’s way of achieving success.
*Desire comes first before the needs. Do we ask to fulfill our needs or do we ask to fulfill our desires?

Where in the Bible does it mention God’s way of Achieving Prosperity and Success? Let me show you a few verses.
1. Leviticus 26:3-13
2. Joshua 1:8
3. 1 Kings 2:3
4. Psalms 1:2-3
5. James 1: 22-25

From these 5 references, let’s draw out the common instructions from God: -

1. All of these verses focus on the Word of God, (decrees, commands, Book of the Law, the Law of Moses, the Law of the Lord, the perfect law that gives freedom)
2. Exhort us to follow, obey, meditate on it, do everything written in it, observe, walk and keep his decrees, look intently into the perfect law, not forgetting about it and doing it.
3. The result is prosperity, success and blessings in whatever we do and wherever we go.

Wah… sounds so simple. And being a sinner, I too would not want to simply believe God in His Words and His promises. Like many others, I too felt that there must be a “catch” to God’s way to achieve prosperity and success. Tried as hard as I could, (so far) I could not find anything that contradicts God’s way. And I ask God to help me understand His ways in this matter. God is more than willing to do that.

Let’s meditate on this issue for a while. Let’s journey along this Biblical principle of achieving prosperity and success and let’s see what we can find along the way.

These 5 references refer to the meditating and obeying of God’s commands. God reminded me of the Greatest Commandment, (Deut 6:5; Matt 22:36-40) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves.
So the first stage in this journey is to love our God with all that we are. God wants our total obedience, devotion to Him. And how are we to show that we love God? Well, Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command”. And in verse 23 again Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.”
Then we asked ourselves, what is Jesus’ command and teaching? To put it in a simple way, it is the Biblical principles and teachings. Now, we can only obey the Biblical commands if we know what the commands are. And we can only know the commands if we read and meditate on it. That’s why reading the Word is important. It is crucial discipline of a believer’s spiritual life. One of the marks of a Mature Lovers of Christ is that he/she reads the Bible daily or has a regular time reading the Bible.

Most of us ask God for success and prosperity. Yet, this simple yet important spiritual discipline of reading His Word is ignored. We wonder why we are not successful. We wonder why we are not prosperous.

Let’s continue this journey to success and prosperity. We read the Bible daily and meditate upon it. We know God’s commands. The next step is the most important step. It is obedience. It is doing what we are instructed to do. It is obeying the will of our Master. Don’t bother asking God for prosperity and success if we do not want to obey Him. Even human logic can testify to this flow of consequences.
Parents – would you be pleased with your children if your child does not obey you? Would you want to give to them gifts if they are always disobedient and rebel against you?
Employers – would you be pleased if your employee does not do what they are instructed to do? Instead of making things easier, they make the job even worse. Would you recommend them to be promoted if they are lazy?
Teachers – would you be interested to give more teaching if your students just don’t bother to listen to you and not interested to learn?
We naturally want to give gifts to our children when they are obedient to us, when they willingly and joyfully listen and do things that please us. We want to reward them. We want them to be happy. Once we know that they have develop Godly character in them, we can trust them with gifts and whatever they ask for because we know that they would not be spoilt by such gifts. The gifts will not change their character.
Likewise our God operates in this simple way. God is longing to bless us. God is longing to provide for us. God is longing to make his people prosperous and successful. It is not for us but for His name sake. He longs to show to the world His characters.

Let me tell you what God wants for us. He does not want to cheat, lie, kill and destroy us. That’s all the work of the Devil. Instead, God our Creator wants us to have life to the fullest – John 10:10. He wants us to focus on Him, on His Kingdom. Luke 12:31 - He wants us to seek first His Kingdom with a promise that He will provide for our needs. John 14:23 – God not only wants or desire to have our obedience but also that through our obedience to Him, God can come to us, show us His love and have fellowship with us.

But God wants to make sure that His gifts of prosperity and success would not cause our spiritual downfall. *Deuteronomy 8:12-17, “Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 17 - You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”

God promises us His generosity, His willingness to give us whatever we wish when we remain in Him and His words remain in us – John 15:5. We will also know that apart from God we can do nothing. Only by remaining in Him, we will bear much fruit. The analogy God uses is the fruit tree. Success to the farmer is when the trees that he planted bear good fruit. And it is prosperous when the tree not only bears good fruit but when the tree bears much good fruit. In other words, you will know that you are successful and prosperous when like the branches that draws life from the vine, you bear much good fruit.

Okay, that’s it. That is God’s way to achieving success and prosperity. As simple as ABC.
A – Know the commands of God by hearing, reading and meditating on it.
B – Follow, obey, keep, observe and do the commands of God, then
C – God promises success and prosperity.

Now, before I close, let us look at a few more Scripture verses on this matter so that we would not get off in the wrong step.

Luke 12:15, “Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

James 1: 2-4, “2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Ephesians 5:8b- 10, “Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord.”

In our quest for success and prosperity, may we be reminded of the words of Paul,
Romans 14:8, “8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord”.
Romans 14:12, “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God”
Hebrews 12: 1-2, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,”
2 Timothy 4:7, “7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sketch - a girl terrified by ghost



Drawing by Annabelle Bong on 29 Oct 2010.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

UOB joins the market

In the past, we only have Maybank offering gold saving accounts. At the time when Maybank first launches that service, not many of the people are interested in investing in gold or precious metal. It could be that the people needed a ready cash just to get through month by month. Later, Public Bank also offered such service to the public. Well, it is not just gold saving accounts but also gold bullion and minted gold coins. If you check and compare Maybank and Public Bank gold price rates, you would note that there are differences. Generally, as for now, Public Bank offers a better rate for the public.

Now, we see another bank offering the same service. UOB has entered the market and the good news is that it is giving a better rate to the public compared with Maybank and Public Bank. So if you have extra money that you would not spend for maybe a year, I would advise you to invest it in gold savings account. Or if you are in USA, check out United States Gold Bureau. You may find a better deal there.

Sickness averted

Due to the haze that is blanketing the many states in Malaysia, my whole family is showing signs of sickness. Annabelle, Ezra and Mommy are down with flu, slight fever and cough. As for me, I experience low body immune system yesterday, feeling tired and weary the whole day. In times like these, I turn to Usana Essentials, taking it twice yesterday instead of my normal once a day. Yes, I know it says that I should take 3 times a day but I can't afford such luxury. And with extra doses of sleep during the day, my body recovered. Thank God for that.

I'm praying that God would provide wind to clear the haze, or pour down heavy rain on the hotspots in Indonesia. Maybe, just steer a portion of the super-typhoon Megi to Indonesia so that the burning would stop.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The haze is back

Every year, around this time (Sept, Oct, Nov, and Dec) when the dry spell is on, we can see the haze in this country. Sigh...because of the greed of some companies in Indonesia that blatantly practice open burning to clear the land to cut cost, the people in Indonesia and Malaysia have to suffer. Bahhh...and even after so many years, both governments seems to be doing nothing about it.

When the haze is here, our health suffered. Itchy eyes, itchy throat, coughing, fever etc etc. Grrrr....hate it when innocent people have to suffer because of other people's greed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sonic Gear speakers

Another thing left by my tenants is a set of Sonic Gear speaker Blue Thunder 1 model. And here is a picture of the same model.

I guess the tenants use this speaker for their room theater set. Being students in the local university, having a room theater set is much cheaper than going to the cinema every time they want to watch a movie. Those who love to hear music will surely get a good set of speaker and Sonic Gear speakers are considered good speakers.

No, I'm not a music lover. If I have lots of money which I don't have especially when the tenants left a hefty outstanding bills for me to pay, I would prefer to buy buy gold instead of buying pc speakers. At least I know my money will increase over time.

Anyway, before the Sonic Gear is sold (yes, I intend to sell it if there are interested buyer) I might as well make full use of it and plug it to my desktop.

Eating crab

In Sabah where the price of crab is very cheap. Cheap as in RM6 per kilo compared to about RM25 per kilo in Melaka. Cheap as in the same price as the small, not so fresh fish that you buy in Melaka. Our host bought for us the crab for our meal and it was delicious. Mind you, the cooks are secondary students staying in the same house. And I thoroughly enjoyed it very much.

Tip of Borneo

Imagine my excitement when we were told that we will be going to the Tip of Borneo. Yes, the northern part of the island of Borneo. Check out this map and you will see the tip of Borneo.


We arrived there at around 5.30pm to look at the sunset. It was beautiful, though the sun was partly hidden by the clouds.



Of course, it would not be complete without any pictures taken as proof that I stood at the tip of Borneo. Here's the proof...hehehe.


Dumbbells

The tenants also left some other things besides the big Dunson bags. No, it is not gold bullion. I wish they had left some gold bullion but that is not so. Now that the gold price is increasing, I'm sure I can get back some money to pay the outstanding bills that my tenants failed to pay. Better leave wishful thinking and get back to reality.

Another thing that the tenants left is a pair of dumbbells each weighing 3.5kg. It has been a long time since I exercise using dumbbells. Now that the dumbbells are with me, I started using them. And it feels great to be able to exercise again. My biceps and triceps are beginning to find their shapes again. hahahaha...at least there are some known and seen benefits of the tenants leaving without telling us.

Bathing with pond water

Sounds interesting. Yes, it is. Cool and refreshing pond water. No, I did not bath at the banks of the pond. The pond water is being pump to the bathroom. And here is the pond which is situated behind the bathroom. When you don't see where the water comes from, you would enjoy the fresh and cool water. Furthermore, because of the hot weather, bathing and scrubbing your body with the cool pond water is indeed a bliss.


The water smells of mud. And tasted muddy. The night where we stayed at the house, I had to bath and brush my teeth at the middle of the night. That's why I know how the water tasted like. The next afternoon, all of us learn the truth about the water.

Dunson Luggage Bag

The tenants left the apartment without informing us. When I went there to check, there are still some of their things that is still left at the apartment. There are some big bags that are left in the apartment. They packed their stuffs in the bags, unimportant and unnecessary things like the curtains. Had to clean up the apartment and since new tenants are coming in, I had to bring back all the bags and other usable things. The three big bags are Dunson luggage bags. Still in good condition.

Maybe I will sell the bags as I don't need to use it. Furthermore, the tenants still owe me over RM2.5K in outstanding bills. I wonder how much can I get if I sell those big Dunson luggage bags. Anybody interested? I'm willing to sell it cheap just to get back some money to pay the unpaid bills.

Outstanding bills

When we went to check out our apartment to see whether our tenants are still there or not, we found out that they have left the apartment without informing us at all. What a irresponsible tenant. The apartment is in a mess. Sometimes I wonder how on earth they can live in such a messy place. Rubbish are not thrown away in the rubbish bin but just left on the floor. I think even if they drop any gold coins there, they would have difficulties finding it in such a mess.

What is worse is that they left without paying the outstanding bills. Water bill amounting to RM53.00 and electric bill amounting to a whopping RM2.5K. Yes, that's RM2,500.00 which is about 5 months rental amount. Grrrr... why is that stupid TNB does not disconnect the electricity when the bills are not paid on time.

Tenants disappeared

Our apartment tenants paid the monthly rental almost promptly every month. As such we did not suspect anything amiss until the end of last month. When we sms him to pay the due rent, there's no reply from him. Our calls are not answered. Suspecting something amiss, we went to the apartment to check out.

The apartment is in a mess. Lots of rubbish not properly thrown in the rubbish bin. And the rooms are empty. Seems like the apartment has been vacant for more than two weeks or more. Sigh... I hate it when this kind of things happen.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Vacancy in rural area - doctors

Went to Pitas, Sabah, at the island of Borneo. It is accessible by road though some parts of the road are not smooth. It took about 3-4 hours ride from Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah. There's no bus service but you can take the taxi. The taxi is more of 4WD or in our case, a Toyota Unser, capable of carrying 7 passengers at one time.

The journey is a pleasant one. You can see the paddy field, hills, jungle, oil-palm estates and lots of green scenery. We were told that the state has built one big hospital in the Pitas district but unfortunately, there is lack of doctors and nurses. I'm sure there is no lack of nursing scrubs or uniforms for the medical staffs if ever they are posted there. Most of the doctors prefer to work in the big cities where they would get better pay/income.

I guess it takes a person who is committed to help the poor that would answer the call to serve in rural areas. And this kind of person/doctor/medical staffs are not easy to find. Even with various incentive including regular supply of scrubs clothing, not many would want to answer the call.

Would you answer the call to serve in rural area where the people are poor?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Looking for old course-mates

While in Sabah, I remembered one of my course-mate named Daisun in university. We studied law and he was one of the Sabahan students who made it to the top law school in Malaysia. When we graduated, we lost contact with each other. I was told once by him that he would go back to Sabah to practice law.

I wondered whether Daisun is practicing in Sabah. If he is, then he would have his own legal firm or a partner to one the legal firm there. I assume that he would be a litigation lawyer as that would fit his personality, handling various lawsuits like Accutane lawsuit or even be a criminal defense lawyer. Would I be able to recognize him? Hopefully, if he has not become too fat or change his familiar gestures. Maybe, one day I will see you again Daisun.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The KYM Students Are Back

How do I know that the KYM students are back? There is a sudden increased in the sales for the past 3 days. Which means, the students are back! Praise the Lord. After the Hari Raya holiday, they will be back with assignments and projects to print. I hope this will continue till the end of the month as we need the extra income to fix my house roofing and buy silver bullion if still for extra money. We need money to make more money. That is why the rich is becoming more rich and the poor stays poor. :(

Looking back at the past.

People say that it is not good to look at the past. Why? I think otherwise. It is good to remember the past. Yes, especially the good ones. Also the bad ones. The good memories will keep us alive, strengthened and rejuvenated. It reminds us that life is not all bad. It reminds us that it is possible to have good times. It gives us hope that things can be good. It gives us self-worth, knowing that we are not total failures. It keeps us sane.

And we need to remember the bad memories too. Not to dwell upon it. Not to be discouraged by it again. Not to make us feel worthless or inferior. BUT to remind us of the mistakes that we made. To teach us that we are not perfect or the cleverest person in the world. It keeps us humble. And if we are humble enough, the bad memories will be our assets in helping others to avoid the same mistakes we made.

I made some bad mistakes in my life. Mistakes that I wished I could undo. But no... I could never undo it. I'm not proud of it. It is now forever in my past. Mistakes made by unwise thinking and uncontrolled self. I fell down ... deep down... rock bottom. Never thought I could ever do such things but yes I did.

But now I am standing. And walking and moving towards a goal in life. The bad mistakes have taught me that I'm not perfect. It will always remind me of my imperfect life. Many times, I remembered my past mistakes and remind myself to be more careful, not to make the same foolish mistakes again. And I know that remembering my past (even the bad ones) has helped me to be a better person today. And I will strive to be better for days to come.

... + + ... I am not perfect..... just forgiven by Jesus Christ... ++ ...

Relationship.


It is true that man are not born to be alone. We are created to
communicate and to have the bonding with others. It is natural,
God-given nature to every human being, just as God himself commune
between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

So it is natural for a man to fall in love with a woman, to have that
bonding, that close communion with her.
Indeed, it has become a life'
quest to find a partner. Some had it easy, but some had it hard. We
can find many who are struggling in this life's quest.

Nowadays, it is not easy to find a partner. Not just that, it is not
easy to find a partner that you can relate and suits you. Then, if you
manage to find one that you like/love, you have to introduce that
partner to your family. This is where most people find that marriage
is not about two people only, but its about two families being
connected through them.


It is easy to get one person to like you, but to get the whole family to like
you would not be so easy. The task is daunting. Even an extrovert person
who can talk well may not be liked by some of the future partner's family members.
Even a person's genuine generosity may be misconstrued as trying to gain favor.
The list goes on and on.

Prejudice is the worst of all relationship hindrances. Prejudice is a
psychological wall that separates two people. And the bad news is that
ALL of us have it whether we admit it or not.

Racial prejudices exist from time immemorial. Right from the start of
Biblical account, we read of clans fighting other clans, race against
another race. When we have certain bad experiences with a certain
race, we tend to develop certain prejudices about that race, even
though it may not be true generally.

Are all Malays lazy? Are all Chinese materialistic? Are all Indians poor?
Are all Americans sexually active? Are all Orang Asli still living on top of the trees?

This prejudice sometimes run deep in the person's heart and affects
him in all his decisions and actions. To encounter such prejudices
against you is hard. More so when it comes from your future partner's family
members. The task then is to prove that you are not like what they
think you are. And this is good for you because generally prejudices
are negative or bad perceptions/impressions of a person's character.

We all will do well to prove that we are otherwise. At the end of the
day, the question remains, "Do we want that person bad enough that we
are willing to overcome every obstacle?"


Relationship... above all else, guard your heart.

My Eldest Daughter's Drawing

kimono girl



This is one of Annabelle's drawing. I am very proud of her because she is not only smart but artistic too. Unfortunately, she is more into drawing cartoons! Like what my wife always said, "She has the Bong blood in her." No doubt, most of the Bongs are very good in Arts. :D

I hope these talents would be able to help her in the future. If she can't sell her artwork, she can always start an Art Class and earn good income from it. Then she can invest in gold bullion and get better returns in long run. ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sinus Remedy

My wife has sinus. I told her to take the USANA Essential so many times but she just refuses it until her sinus became so bad that she felt like something moving in her nose then only she reluctantly take the pills.

Praise God, after almost 3 weeks taking it, I don't here her complaining about itchy nose and her sneezing also reduces. I hope she will religiously continue to swallow the pills. It is for her own good.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What is certain?

There is nothing certain in life. Maybe death is certain and heaven and hell is certain. Salary, income, job, position, family and the things we see with our eyes are definitely not certain. My income from the business is certainly not certain. I wished it is but that's not the reality. One day the sales could be so high, the next so low. Uncertainties. Even my wife's work is not certain. One day in good terms with the boss, the next doubts and mistrusts occurs.

Well, people loves to look at money as their security. The more money you have in the bank, the more secure you will feel. But that is also uncertain, false security. One thing that all of our human nature want is that feeling of being secured. Secured of having a fixed income, secured of our job, secured of our family, SECURED.

I too would love to have this feeling of being secured. But then I realised that being secured is not about how much money I have. It is being certain of who I am in God. I have to remind myself and tell myself often that my security is God Himself, not my business, not my family an definitely not my bank account or the insurance policies. As Job said, "Naked I come into this world, naked will I die". So what is certain? GOD! And with Him, I find peace of heart.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm so bored, boring.

Annabelle has been saying that phrase often nowadays. She gets bored easily. I think it is more that she wants to play computer games. And since we do not allow her to play computer games everyday, she would use that phrase to "persuade" us indirectly to allow her to use the computer. When she said that phrase, we often suggested to her to do other things like drawing, cycling, reading or even doing her homework. Most of the times, she would do what we suggested but only for a while. Then she would come back to us and complain again about being bored.

This simply shows that when she wants to play her computer games, all other things are boring to do. Even if I give her a gold bullion or a gold earing, she would not be interested as her mind is on her computer games. I bought her 1000 pieces of jigsaw puzzle for her to do but she has yet to start it. It would be no surprise if she says that she is bored with it also.

Back pain

It has been almost two weeks since the back pain started. This would be my second time I experienced back pain. I still not sure what trigger this back pain. I can only assume the cause to be the increasing weight of my bulging stomach. Add that to lack of exercises and bad posture, it is just a back pain "bomb" waiting to explode.

I also noticed that the pain would be more in the morning after I woke up. Then by noon, the pain lessened and by night time the pain would be minimal. I can only assume that when the back muscles have already been "exercised" and warm-up, the pain would lessens. If the pain continues till next week, I'll go see the doctor.

Cycling Adventure

September 14, 2010, Tuesday. Cycled for more than 10km with Annabelle. Started at about 6pm. Annabelle cycle her own bicycle while Clarissa sat behind my bicycle. From our house, we cycle to the residential area beside our house. Then to the paddy field, using the stone graveled road all the way to Sungai Lereh. Upon reaching the river, we cycled at the river bank and passed through Kampung Hj Jambol (I think that's the name of the village, can't remember exactly). And the road lead us to the coastal main road, came out opposite of Restoren Spring Garden, the main road where the Monday pasar malam is held.

From there, we cycled to Batang Tiga. Stopped by at the sundry shop to buy drinks (Clarissa complained of thirst or maybe she just made it up when she saw the shop). After quenching our thirst, we cycled back to our home, passing by beautiful sunset sceneries along the way.

Hahaha...can't imagine that Annabelle cycled that far. She didn't complain at all about the long journey. In fact, she wants to do again and has been bugging me to for for another cycling adventure.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Searching to be sure

My brother sent me a link about the hidden story of Jesus. I guess he is still seeking to find out more about the kind of faith that he wants to have. The problem of watching youtube video clips is that he has to be very careful on determining whether to believe what is being shown there. Most of the information given in that particular video clip are more of suggestive thoughts and not proven. They only show the parts that reinforce their theory and totally left out other contradictory facts. Thus it seems to portray the truth when it is only an unproven theory.

Advised him to do more research on the topic especially on biblical apologetic. Well, it would be good if he has completed his research degrees as he would be able to discern the proven facts from mere theories. As for now, he has to learn such skills on his own. And may he find the truths that he is seeking.

Time to move on

It has been 4 years since starting the cybercafe business. How time flies! I still can remember the days when I had to sleep over at the shop so that I can get the extra income. The beginning days are tough, not enough to even cover the cost. Michelle's income had seen us through those "tight" times.

Really thank God for His faithfulness and providence. He has brought me through this 4 years and indeed I can confidently say that God has never forsaken me. As I made a deal with God that I would put my focus on the business for 4 years, I'm now open to what may come next for my future. It is time to move on.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The power of Words

Like her daddy, Belle's language of love is Words. And people who have this language of love are sensitive to the words spoken to them. They pick up certain words that they hear especially when it is about them. If they are very positive in their thinking, they would pick up the good words spoken about them and ignore the bad negative words. However, if they are prone to negative thinking, most of the negative bad words would affect them dearly.

What is unfortunate is when all the words spoken to them are negative. Then there is no good words that they can choose. And it takes maybe 5 to 8 times of good words to counter the effect of just one bad word. So please choose your words carefully, being considerate to others. It is easy to speak but it is not easy to nurse the hurts it can cause.

And Belle, with God's blessing, you will be clever and be a doctor when you grow up.

Investing in Kindergarten

My brother came back with mother and the maid last weekend. He asked me whether I have money to invest. Of course the answer is No. But God willing, He will provide all my needs as He has always been faithfully been providing. Anyway, my brother told me that one of his friend in interested in opening a kindergarten near his place. And she is asking my brother whether he wants to joint venture. A capital of RM10K to be injected into the venture. He is quite keen to join though he too has limited savings.

When asked about how the returns would be like, he is not sure at all. He has got a clue. So I taught him a bit on how to calculate the returns for his possibly RM10K investment. Also told him to ask his friends how much profits/returns would he get and for how long the partnership would last. Told him that it is better to invest in gold bullion if the returns offered by his friend is less than 10% of his investment. This is because the appreciation value of gold normally increases more than 10% a year.

Anyway, still waiting for the project proposal from his friend. If the projected returns is good and all other factors are positive, then I might contribute to the venture too.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sickness is sickening

Yes, nobody likes to be sick. It is sickening to be sick. When I was sick, I want to be rest as much possible. But being a businessman this may not come as easy as I thought especially when there are not staff available to look after the shop. I can imagine those who suffer from various kinds of sickness including Mesothelioma Cancer or any types of cancer, would wish that they can have a complete rest.

How good it is to be able to rest until we recovered fully. How good it is if we can rest without feeling the pain, drowsiness, headache and whatever ache. It is good to know what are the pains that you will go through especially if it a prolong sickness. To be able to do that, we need to read more from books or do some research from the internet. For example, read more about Mesothelioma and the stages of Surviving Mesothelioma so that you can understand the causes of and the ways to handle this type of sickness.

Just remember that sickness is sickening and some type of sickness is really sickening to some people.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Coughing and cold weather

I was surprised that my cough does not deteriorate while I was in Genting. I was expecting that I'll be coughing and coughing until I cough out blood because of the cold weather in Genting. Praise God, that didn't happen. Yes, there are occasional coughing but it is rather mild compared to the cough in Melaka a few days before that.

Could it be the clean cool air in Genting that makes my body recovered slightly, compared to the humid polluted air in Melaka? Whatever it is , I thank God for the cold great time in Genting.

Having me for 24 hrs

After the trip to Genting, my wife said something during our conversation.

"You know, its been a long time since we (the children and my wife) have you for 24 hours for 3 days."

That really makes me think and reflect back. Ya, its been a long time since I've spent 24 hrs together with my family. Monday to Saturday, my children would only see me for a few hours, sometimes they won't see me at all throughout the day. Sigh... . Today's children generally suffers from lack of time with their parents. In our pursuit of monetary gains be it from lack of it or from the greed of wanting more, we have sacrifice essential valuable time with children. I don't want to wake up one day with lots of gold coins in my safe box but have lost all love, care and affection from my children.

When was the last time you spend the whole day with your family?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Different approach

We had one of our church members as our insurance in the past. She did a great job in terms of updating us of our insurance policy or if there's new good plans. Whenever we have a new baby in the family she would ask whether we would like to buy insurance or accident cover for the new baby. And the best thing is that we have the freedom whether to buy or not to buy. She does not pressure us to buy when we are not ready. And we appreciate her for that.

Recently there is another insurance agent who took over the task of giving us the same service. However, her approach is more direct, always wanting to secure a deal. Such approach does not bode well with us. After all, it is our money and our plans. We will decide when we are ready to buy a new insurance policy. She came the other day and introduced two new schemes to us, well at least it is new to us. She told us that we are entitled to buy the company's funeral cover and should we die earlier than our children, the guardian income insurance would ensure financial stability for our children. She insisted that we signed up there and then but told her that we are not ready for that yet.

Hmmm....all these huhas about insurance reminds me that at the end of the day, all men die. And it reminds me that I must be ready to meet my Maker anytime.

Not warm enough

My wife told me that I'm more reptilian than mammals. It's simply because my body does not generate more heat than hers. Most of the time when she touched me, I can feel the heat from her body... like really hot, almost like boiling water. OK...not that hot but she's hot. And to her, my body is icy cold. OK...not frozen cold but I'm cold to her. hmmm maybe like that character in Twilight...hahaha.

Must raise up my metabolism rate so that I can warm up to her...hehehe.

Mom have nothing to watch

Ever since the antenna for the tv broke down, we have not been able to get all the tv channels back on the screen. Yes, even after replacing the old with a new antenna, we are not able to get a clear reception for the main channel. It's a bit unfortunate for mother since she likes to watch that channel. It has lots of tv series that has become her favorites. A few of them are Indonesian tv series, which she will watch with the Indonesian maid.

Now we are thinking of subscribing to Astro again. In the past when we subscribed to it, the reception for all the channels are clear. However, when mom is not here for a long period of time, we decided to cancel the subscription and nobody has the time to watch tv. For now, the main factor is what mother wants to watch as she be the only person who have time to watch.

How to show to her that we love her and are concerned with her needs? Of course, most of us would prefer to buy gold for our loved ones. My mother too loves to buy gold as presents for her children. But to fulfill her needs of being entertained at night we might get a new LCD plasma tv for her. Let her enjoy the best when she watches her favorite tv series. A new home theater set for mother. Hahaha... maybe with a new home theater set, more will stay at home and watch movies. Spend time at home instead of going to the cinema.

Teaching them from small

When I was small, I would be delighted to find a coin on the road. Even the smallest coin at that time has value and I can buy at least 3 pieces of sweets. Even if the coins are dirty I would picked it up and clean it. The dirt on the coin does not diminish its value. I would put it in my piggy and once the amount is big, I'll buy something nice for myself. Of course that is a very rare occurrence. But to find coins is indeed a joyful experience.

Now, things are different. The value of coins have drop tremendously. I can hardly buy anything with the 5 cents coin. And even if I saw one on the road, I don't think I'll pick it up especially if it is dirty.

But I get irritated when I see coins all over my house. My children have their own pocket money and sometimes they play with their coins. I don't mind them playing with coins but I get irritated when they do not keep their coins after finish playing with it. They just leave the coins all over the house. Many times I had to scold and teach them to appreciate their coins. Yes, it may not be gold coins but if accumulated the value of their coins can buy them their toys. I think I must warn them that if I see any coins all over the house, they can't ask for any gifts for one year.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The world is shouting

Every time the match is on, the world is watching. At every mamak stalls or restaurants where the owner sets up big screen, the customers would flock there to watch their favorite team. And every time a goal is scored, the world shouted. Whether you are watching it at Madison Square Garden or Rose Garden Arena, the atmosphere is exhilarating. The adrenaline rush is worth spending the night out with other football fans. That's the effect of World Cup 2010 and any other WC previously.

It is not just the soccer fans that are shouting during the matches. Other sports fan like baseball, tennis, cricket and other games too would feel the adrenaline rush whenever a point is scored. Buy your baseball game tickets at Yankee Stadium and watch the game there and you will know the excitement of watching a live game. And when a point is scored, feel your adrenaline rush and shout your heart out. The world is shouting.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Economic uncertainties

I read in the paper today that many are protesting against their governments decision on austerity spending. France, Greece, Italy and a few other countries are facing economic uncertainties. Greece is already a "bankrupt" country. It makes one wonder on how solid one own country economy is. One thing for sure, investing in currency is very risky. The value of my country currency is definitely very "yo yo". I guess that's why those who play Forex trading make gains and losses everyday.

I would prefer to have a more certain increase of value in my investments. Instead of keeping your money in fixed deposits or buying shares, I would prefer to buy gold coins as an investment. Gold prices increased an average of 20% per year. That is basically 20% of interest for your investment which is more that your FD or shares dividend. Well, if you do not want to hold the actual gold coins, then go for gold saving accounts. That would serve the same purpose.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The weather makes me lazy

Last night I told myself that I want to go cycling in the morning. Yesterday, I managed to cycle from my house to Gedong Lalang, Taman Bkt Rambai, Tangga Batu, Pantai Kundor, Everly Resort, Lereh, Batang Tiga, Klebang Besar, Pulau Gadong, Solok Setulang Daing and back to my house. It took me about an hour to cycle the distance of about 20km. I was very happy with the exercise and hope that I could do it again today.

When I woke up this morning, there was this laziness that sticks to my body. I look out from the window and saw the weather... oh dear...hot blazing morning sun. Immediately my desire to go cycling disappeared. Kabussh. So there goes my exercise for the morning. Instead of cycling, I decided to cut down the jambu air tree beside Bro Chuan's room. Well, at least there's some physical exercise there.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Clean sunny day

Its been a long time since I saw clean sunny day. Last Sunday, while riding my bike to church, the air was fresh, the blue sky in the horizon with thin layers of clouds. There's no signs of air pollution. It was a new day, a fresh day.

The night before, it rained. That's the main reason the air was fresh in the morning. Ahh...I love the feeling of being rejuvenated just breathing in the fresh clean air.

Unfortunately, these "clean fresh air" days are becoming fewer and fewer in Malaysia. Sigh...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Italian Job

No, it is not about an Italian guy doing a job or doing a job that is Italian. It is a movie title. The story is about a group of con men stealing a safe full of gold bars worth 37 million dollars. And these guys are Americans. Hahaha...American con men stealing gold bars in Italy. I like the creative plan they have to do the job.

So what would you do if you have 37 millions dollars of gold divided among six of you? One of them said, "buy gold coins" or something like that. Or maybe he advised his other team member to invest in gold. Kinda funny because they already have gold bars in hand and yet they still want to invest in gold. Anyway, if I do have that kind of money (cash and not gold bars), I too would invest in gold coins.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Total body workouts

So far my only form of exercise now is cycling. That is cycling to and from work. That too is not done everyday.This week, I cycled on Monday but had to drive to work on Tuesday and Wednesday because of bad weather. Today, the morning weather is clear so took the opportunity to cycle to work. I realized that though cycling is a good form of exercise, it is not a balance total body workouts. Cycling gives a good workout for the legs but not much for the upper body.

Maybe I will add in jogging in my exercise schedule. Hmmm....will time permits?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cycling at night

Dangerous. More dangerous than cycling at daytime. Furthermore, the battery powered signal/blinking light that I bought for RM23 does not work. So I cycle at night for 11km from my shop to home without any blinking lights. Praise God that He has kept me safe thus far.

It is a different experience cycling at night. You can only see places that are lighted up. The things that you would not normally notice during daytime you will suddenly take notice. Places like hawker stalls or restaurants that are closed during daytime becomes alive at night. But you have to be careful when looking at all these places, just make sure you know what is in front of you. Small road holes are BIG danger to cyclist especially on a busy road.

One positive factor is the cool temperature at night. This really helps to cool your body down and you would not sweat as much as cycling in daytime.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wishful thinking

Have you ever imagine that you will find a bag of cash along the road? Well, I do, lots of time. Usually I ride my motorbike to work. Many a times while riding back from work, I wished that I'll come across a bag or many bags of cash. And I would find cash in RM10 and RM50 notes totaling to thousands or even to millions of RM. So far, all have been wishful thinking. Never have I come across any bags with cash in it on the road. Garbage bags are plentiful.

What would I do if I come across the bags of cash? Well, one thing for sure, I would buy gold bullion with the money and save it for my children's needs in future. Hahaha...so bad of me, don't want to return it to the relevant authorities. Well, it is just wishful thinking, so let me imagine that I can use the money.

Fasting

I believes in the value of fasting. And before starting the business, I fasted regularly every week. However, when I started the business, I neglected it. My body's weight went up and down depending on the seasons of my life. Lack of exercise and sleep are major concerns. Everytime when the body is weak due to lack of exercise and sleep, I will fall sick.

I guessed it is the natural way for the body to tell me that things are out of balance. Now, my body is weak, my stomach is growing bigger due to overeating and lack of exercise. Looks like I will have to fast to cleanse my body. Will fast lunch at least once a week. Must get back my regular spiritual discipline of fasting.

High expenses

Sigh...I did not achieve my target of clearing my business debt by May 2010. Was really hoping that I could settle it by May, but that did not take place. With 2 weddings, additional repair to the photostat machine, renewing of insurance and road tax for the old car and motorbike, and many other additional expenses, all the income runs dry. Furthermore, the daily sales dropped as most of the college students went back home for their 2 months holiday.

Praise God we did not starve to death. Just that I was really hoping to clear my business debt as soon possible. Now praying that the daily income would increase and no more wedding cards to give angpau's to.

Friday, May 21, 2010

RM 1,000,000.00 question

"Dear, if you have RM1M, what would you do?" I asked my wife.

"Give people lah", came the immediate answer from her. After a quiet pause, she asked, "Can I use the money?".

Hahahaha... I guess we have always been thinking of giving to people but do not have much to give now. It would be wonderful to have RM1M in the bank account. Imagine how many smiles that we can bring out from people who receives monetary gifts from us. We want to bless the missionaries. They are always in our hearts and we hope finance would not hinder them in their work for God.

If you are thinking that we will be giving all of it to people, then the answer is No. We will use some for investment so that we can give more in the future. We might use some of the money to buy buy gold bullion for long term investment. Landed property would be another good choice. Well, let's see whether that dream will become a reality.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Which heart you would choose?

The preacher told this story to the congregation.

There was a man who needs a heart transplant. One day the surgeon called him and told him that he can be operated and have a new heart. The man was excited to hear the news. However, the surgeon told him that there are 3 hearts available and he has to choose one. One is from a young athlete who died in a car accident. The second heart is from a businessman who died in a plane crash. The third heart is from an old lawyer. The man without any hesitation told the surgeon that he wants the old lawyer's heart. The surgeon was surprised and asked him why. The man said, "Because the heart has not been used".

Okay, if you laughed, then you know the joke. I guess the reputation of lawyers are not so positive. Well, not all lawyers are heartless. The way they handle their cases may seem heartless but that shows that they are trying their best for their clients. Take for instance those who suffered from Mesothelioma Disease have found that their Mesothelioma Lawyer or Mesothelioma Attorney have a heart for them in their efforts to find justice and compensation. It is good to know that while we are suffering the disease there are people out there who are concern with our wellbeing. Whatever the perception may be, there are kind-hearted lawyers out there.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Rambling - Dreaming away

Day dreaming all the way. Can be very tiring too. Anticipating and hoping that somehow, in due time, in His time, things will change for better. But then again, how many of us can wait patiently. There's always the anticipation, the what if's, if's this, if's that. And time passes so ssssslllllllloooooowwwwwwlllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

But then again, that indicated a heart that is not with the Lord. For in God we have peace, tranquility of heart. Remembered Peter when he walked on water. Everything is okay and fine when he focus on Jesus. But when he shifted his focus to the waves, his peace waver too and as one who has no firm foundation, he starts to sink. Imagine that Peter, a fisherman, cried out to Jesus to be saved. Hmmm...shouldn't a fisherman like Peter already an expert swimmer. An expert swimmer became afraid and cried out to Jesus to save him. Well, at least Peter has Jesus to rely on at that time. Who do you have when the waves of this world overwhelm you? I do hope you have Jesus in you.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My boy Ezra

Its been a year and I haven't write much about him. I guess I was busy at the shop and left all the taking care to my wifey. Anyway, he has grown much, much to our surprise. Just at the age of 1, he can already recognize my motorbike sound and would want to walk out from the room and greet me when I come home. Once he saw me at the door, he will walk quickly and open wide his arms for me to hug him. It seems he learned that from watching his other siblings. And he is such a huggable baby.

Red eyes

On Saturday, I woke up with a dry eye. Didn't look at the mirror, just assuming that lack of sleep is the cause of it. Went to work and by lunch time, the condition became better. On Sunday, again I woke up with a dry eye. When I look at the mirror, I saw my eyes red and it felt dry. Even my pastor noticed it when she spoke to me. After church service, I went home and look at my home medical supplies to see whether there's any eye drops that I can use. I normally use Eye-Mo or Optrex as these are the more popular ones in the market. Unfortunately there is none in the first aid kit. In the evening, we went to the shopping centre nearby and bought one eye drops. Now my eyes are much better and improving.

Mother is coming back

Received an sms from Bro Chai saying that he will be back this coming weekend. And he will bring Mother back. It's been a long time since Mom stays at Bro Ann's place. Not sure whether she will stays back here until her next eye check-up or she will follow Chai back on Sunday. Do hope that she will stays back.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Set mindset

My wife hold up an advertisement of a slimming package and told me, "Haiya, this kind of women also can enter slimming advertisement." I asked her, "Why?". "Look lah... the girl is fat."

Aiyo, its not necessary to be so slim and sexy to be in an advertisement. As long as it is real and not exagerrated, then it should be okay to put the girl's picture in the ad. Just add a touch of make-up like the way they teach in the cosmetology school in Ohio, then it should be okay. I just don't like to see some pictures in the advertisement that are really not "real", where a lot of photo editing being done. It is just so unreal. A little editing is okay, not too much until the readers know that it is impossible to achieve such beauty.

Don't have a set mindset. And don't let your mind set according to the pattern of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.